You do not need to be a sex worker to be involved. You just need to care!
We salute everyone who braved the stigma to stand strong and allied on December 17th. We made history by standing up and speaking out; together! And we will be back at Thomas Paine Plaza in 2018 so stay tuned to stand with us! We are the voice for those who can no longer speak for themselves.
“Its time to change the social perception that she wasn’t a person, she was a “prostitute”. No one wants to feel a sense of community or sameness with her. She was something other than us and therefore we don’t need to feel fear or grief at the fact or the manner of her death.”
THANK YOU to all who showed up for D/17 at Thomas Paine Plaza including though not limited to: Penn’s T.J. Ghose on behalf of District Attorney-elect Larry Krasner, PHILLY dot com, SWOP Behind Bars, ESPU-PHL / The ESPLER Project, Crossroads Women’s Center, Black Trans Lives Matter, Every Mother A Working Mother, All Women Count, USPros, Click Save Photography and all of our awesome community allies!
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner 2018 Inauguration: “Today we start the long road towards empowering and protecting some of our most vulnerable witnesses and survivors: immigrants that lack legal status so that they like other vulnerable groups – young people, elderly people, sex workers – can participate in the criminal justice system that is there to protect them. Today we trade fear for sanctuary.”
A very special thanks to PHILLY dot com Bob Fernandez and Kathy Boccella for their amazing in-depth reporting of D/17:
- Philly vigil set for 31 sex workers slain in U.S. this year
- Sex workers victimized by violence remembered at Philadelphia vigil
We also sincerely thank Elizabeth Nolan Brown at Reason Magazine for her Hit & Run mention:
- The Best Sex Work Writing of 2017 – Hit & Run: Reason.com: Sex Workers Victimized by Violence Remembered at Philadelphia Vigil” The Inquirer recently covered a vigil commemorating the 2017 International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, in a piece that’s surprisingly sex-work positive for a mainstream paper. “The vigil organizers were encouraged by the attendance of a surrogate for Philadelphia district attorney-elect Larry Krasner, T.J. Ghose, an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice,” Inquirer writer Kathy Boccella notes. Ghose said the incoming DA had pledged during his campaign to drastically reduce criminal prosecutions of sex workers as part of his goal to reduce the number of women of color behind bars. “Sex work is a gateway,” said Ghose, who has worked with a 70,000-member union of sex workers in India. “If we’re going to end mass incarceration, prosecuting sex workers has to stop.”
May No Murder Ever Again Be NHI. No matter what culture: NHI is NOT OK!
Our voice is their voice!
THANK YOU to everyone who braved the storm for the 2016 D/17 at Thomas Paine Plaza. Your participation added light and love to the day. THANK YOU – including though not limited – to: The Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, ELS, Erotic Service Providers Union (ESPU-Philly), The ESPLER Project, Food Not Bombs, Global Women’s Strike, New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance, Philadelphia Red Umbrella Alliance, Project SAFE, SWOP Behind Bars, SWOP USA, US Pros Collective and our amazingly supportive, awesome local community allies. Respect. Love.
In its 2015 Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights, the State Department affirmed the 2010 United Nations Recommendation #86, stating, “We agree that no one should face violence or discrimination in access to public services based on sexual orientation or their status as a person in prostitution,” and we call upon the States to do likewise. There are numerous instances of state laws and regulations that still discriminate against our community. (ESPLER Project)
Note: Kind people have asked about donations. At this time we are not asking for money. We are only asking that people care; and find ways to create sustainable solutions to the stigma & violence that survivors and workers currently encounter.
Know: I am considering the benefits of setting up a nonprofit or research-oriented social club for PHL D/17. Right now the remembrance vigil is something we as a community feel compelled to share in since the violence has touched us all close to home and heart. If you are a professional with interest in participating – even if anonymously – please contact me.
SUPER SINCERE SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ERIS VAYLE FOR ALL YOUR DEDICATION, AND TO BAD ASS FUNNY LADY RACHEL FOGLETTO FOR KEEPING US SMILING!
M. DANTE AND ERIS VAYLE AT HELIUM PHILADELPHIA 2016